adjective \ˈshrüd, especially Southern ˈsrüd\

: having or showing an ability to understand things and to make good judgments : mentally sharp or clever

Full Definition of SHREWD

archaic :  mischievous
obsolete :  abusive, shrewish
obsolete :  ominous, dangerous
a :  severe, hard <a shrewd knock>
b :  sharp, piercing <a shrewd wind>
a :  marked by clever discerning awareness and hardheaded acumen <shrewd common sense>
b :  given to wily and artful ways or dealing <a shrewd operator>
shrewd·ly adverb
shrewd·ness noun

Examples of SHREWD

  1. According to Frank Luntz, Republican pollster and spinmeister, these younger working women with small children are critical swing voters. By dint of focus groups and shrewd professional questioning, Luntz has determined what these women need most—more time in their lives. He seemed to regard this finding as a considerable coup. —Molly Ivins, Mother Jones, September/October 2004

Origin of SHREWD

Middle English shrewed, from shrewe + 1-ed
First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of SHREWD

shrewd, sagacious, perspicacious, astute mean acute in perception and sound in judgment. shrewd stresses practical, hardheaded cleverness and judgment <a shrewd judge of character>. sagacious suggests wisdom, penetration, and farsightedness <sagacious investors got in on the ground floor>. perspicacious implies unusual power to see through and understand what is puzzling or hidden <a perspicacious counselor saw through the child's facade>. astute suggests shrewdness, perspicacity, and diplomatic skill <an astute player of party politics>.
SHREWD Defined for Kids


adjective \ˈshrüd\

Definition of SHREWD for Kids

:  showing quick practical cleverness <a shrewd businessman>
shrewd·ly adverb
shrewd·ness noun


Next Word in the Dictionary: shrewdyPrevious Word in the Dictionary: shrew All Words Near: shrewd
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears